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Tarik O'Regan

Publisher: Novello & Co

After Rain (Petrichor) (2012),
Text Writer
Edward Thomas
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
2012
Duration
13 Minutes
Chorus
SATB chorus with divisions
Language
English
Soloist
Soprano


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Programme Note
Tarik O'Regan After Rain (Petrichor) (2012),
Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University, the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award presented by Chorus America and funded by the American Composers Forum, and Utah Chamber Artists.

First performed 30 April 2012 at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, by Utah Chamber Artists conducted by Barlow Bradford.

Texts by Edward Thomas (1878-1917):
Where any turn may lead to Heaven
Or any corner may hide Hell
Roads shining like river up hill after rain

These three lines of text were found on a slip of paper inside Thomas’s War Diary
(1 January - 8 April, 1917).

It Rains
It rains, and nothing stirs within the fence
Anywhere through the orchard's untrodden, dense
Forest of parsley. The great diamonds
Of rain on the grassblades there is none to break,
Or the fallen petals further down to shake.

And I am nearly as happy as possible
To search the wilderness in vain though well,
To think of two walking, kissing there,
Drenched, yet forgetting the kisses of the rain:
Sad, too, to think that never, never again,

Unless alone, so happy shall I walk
In the rain. When I turn away, on its fine stalk
Twilight has fined to naught, the parsley flower
Figures, suspended still and ghostly white,
The past hovering as it revisits the light.


After Rain

The rain of a night and a day and a night
Stops at the light
Of this pale choked day. The peering sun
Sees what has been done.
The road under the trees has a border new
Of purple hue
Inside the border of bright thin grass:
For all that has
Been left by November of leaves is torn
From hazel and thorn
And the greater trees. Throughout the copse
No dead leaf drops
On grey grass, green moss, burnt-orange fern,
At the wind's return:
The leaflets out of the ash-tree shed
Are thinly spread
In the road, like little black fish, inlaid,
As if they played.
What hangs from the myriad branches down there
So hard and bare
Is twelve yellow apples lovely to see
On one crab-tree.
And on each twig of every tree in the dell
Uncountable
Crystals both dark and bright of the rain
That begins again.


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Performances
Date
Title
Reviews
O’Regan’s scorings re-create some of the many aspects of rain (mournful, violent, sensuous, life-giving and lonely) found in Thomas’ texts which he suggests sensitively in sound.
Rebecca Tavener, Organists' Review,3/1/2013
The young British composer... explained that the work's subtitle refers to the smell of the first rainfall after a dry spell. "It transports us", he said of that instantly recognizable scent. "After Rain" is a short but instantly appealing work. O'Regan deftly and imaginatively used the voices and orchestra to evoke not only raindrops, thunderclaps and shimmering streets, but the color of the sky and movement of the clouds.
Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune,5/1/2012
"O'Regan's new piece creates the aural experience of rain through music that shimmers and bursts with the texture of water," said UCA soprano Liz Hodson. [...] Hodson said the piece summons an emotional aura that re-creates the romance of walking in the rain. "Not only are you having an intellectual study because of the poetry and a musical portrayal of the sound of rain, but, in invoking another sense - the smell of rain - it becomes an all-encompassing kind of experience," Hodson said. "His music takes the words of the poem, which are wonderful, and paints them so well. It's quite an exciting piece." The composer said the two lyrical poems might seem to lend themselves to slow gentle music. [...] "The piece is very fast-moving, and it shimmers very gently, particularly in the string writing. ... The orchestra and choir are very much equal partners. Each has quite a distinct voice which you hear independently, and these two voices come together at key moments in the work," (said Tarik O'Regan).
Celia R. Baker, The Salt Lake Tribune,4/29/2012
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